BRONZEVILLE — It’s going to be a real nail biter to see which Culver’s opens first in Chicago, Bronzeville or Portage Park.
Both locations will open in mid-December, likely within a week of each other. And as of Tuesday it looked like the Bronzeville location at 34th Street and King Drive will open first.
Baron Waller, owner of the franchise location in Bronzeville, said he’s talked to his construction crew and set an opening date of Dec. 11.
“That’s a tentative date — it depends on if they get everything complete,” Waller said.
The Portage Park location, at 4939 W. Irving Park Road, has set a mid-December opening, but has not set a hard date.
Waller said based on his conversations with the corporate office, he thinks he’s a week ahead of the Portage Park location.
Paul Pitas, a spokesman for Culver's, said the company was not ready to announce an official opening date for Portage Park.
Waller said he won't be hurt if Portage Park opens first.
“I would like to be first, but I’m not personally competitive about it,” Waller said.
Waller said he plans to hire 70-75 people for the Bronzeville location from the surrounding community.
The Wisconsin-based chain known for its butter burgers, custard and cheese curds has been well established in the suburbs for years, but never ventured until this year into Chicago, where it plans at least four locations.
The Bronzeville Culver's has set a tentative opening date of Dec. 11 in the Lake Meadows Shopping Center. [DNAinfo/Angela Myers]